Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monolith Conversion w/ 3D Printed Parts


I had this one ready to go for a very long time, but I didn't want to work on it before finishing Praetorians. Now with even more 3D printed parts!

I designed four parts: the panel on the front side, the inside parts of those four columns on top, the crystal itself, and the inside of those three-column things that normally sit on the side of a Monolith.

The front panel was simply an attempt at making the normal panel look more interesting. Typically you'd see Necron symbol stickers applied on the sides of that panel. I had mine 3D printed with actual Necron symbols as I don't use stickers.

As a sidenote, the front panel is black because I was trying out a new material - Shapeways high def black plastic. The result was streaky, slightly bent, and with artifacts on the rear side that needed sanding. I'm not impressed.

As for the top, there's a lot going on.

First, I didn't want my Monolith to be as tall as they are normally. I also hate the tall rear column that comes with the model - it's hollow and it shows. To solve this, I used the (shorter) three column setup in the back, and converted a two column setup on the sides. I rotated the roof by 90 degrees to make this work. I think it looks better; the Monolith looks less tall, more bulky, and it exposes the roof of the model nicely.

Finally, to keep the rear columns from being empty, I modeled a pattern you can normally see on the wings of a Necron Scythe:

Here's the pattern I had on my mind designing it:

As you can see, I missed the length of these parts by a big margin. They're about 3-4mm too short. I could compensate with sprue bits, use a lot of miliput to make that shim seamless, and it looks good now.

The roof is typically bland and empty for this model. To compensate, I designed the columns that face the middle on the roof and a custom crystal, all with way more details than the stock model. The columns now have vertical rods that I'm going to paint to be fire hot, with two "hoops" that hold them in place and expose two small ports.

The crystal is identical to the original in size, but is surrounded in a heavy metal looking circle to keep it in place. This metal is engraved, and has ports on the bottom facing each of the four columns:

I have rubber rope that's exactly the right diameter to connect the crystal to the columns. That's going to look so good when it's done. I'm not doing that before I'm done painting however.

All these white parts I had 3D printed on Shapeways, using their Frosted Ultra Detail material (the some one that was used for snake tails for my Praetorians).

Finally, I made the model mountable on a flying stand:

It levitates at about 3" above the ground. This is a good height for it, and of course, it can be used on the ground.

I did not use the stock Gauss weapons because, frankly, they're too big. They make the model look a bit goofy. These small Gauss weapons make it seem bigger, bulkier by comparison. I used Destroyer weapons to accomplish this.

And, finally, I drowned this model in Milliput and have been sanding for days. This model is awful! Nothing fits together, I've been filing and sanding for a week. It's ridiculous. I don't see myself making a second Monolith.

But I'm in love with this one!

I think that's about everything. I'm still thinking about how to paint it - where do I use dark grey, where do I use light blue. I don't think I have much of a choice, to be honest, but we'll see.

Anyway, here are some other pics I snapped while working on the model at various points in time, and thanks for looking.


  1. That is a great addition to the plain ol Monolith. Now we just have to fix the rules to make them playable...

    Nice touches in the empty bits on top, and the rubber cable will look awesome.

  2. Fascinating conversion, I'll definitely enjoy seeing it progress.

  3. Can't wait to see it painted. I may well try this myself on my converted Monolith when I get around to it!